Arkansas Times
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Bridging the Generation Gap

Nurses share their best advice for leading mixed generation teams successfully.


1. Communicate

“Nurses are now multigenerational, a mix of first careers, second careers and empty nesters who learn each other’s generational needs during school or form previous work experience. UAMS encourages communication, collaboration and mutual respect. The generational gap is discussed in classes and charge nurses, managers and directors are provided with education to assist in bridging this gap.” 

Candy Conners, UAMS

2. Empower

“Good managers have the ability to identify individual potential, foster cohesiveness and develop the individuals as well as the team, which will ultimately lead to success. With so many diverse opportunities in nursing, people with various backgrounds and experience can find roles in nursing.”

Shankar Kathiresan, UAMS


3. Blend

“Hard skills are clinical skills – starting IVs, changing dressings, giving injections. Soft skills are traits that make a valuable employee – positivity, dependability, attitude and compassion. Hard skills usually improve with experience and repetition. Soft skills relate to the way each nurse relates and interacts with others. When you combine experienced nurses with younger nurses they can learn from each other.” 

Nancy May, Jefferson Regional Medical Center


4. Unify

“Team building is of great importance when the team is as diverse as the nursing workforce. Team members should feel valued and respected and feel as though they contribute to the success of the other team members. Managers who find roles that all nurses can play, no matter their age or cultural background, will lead cohesive teams where each member feels empowered and important.”

Ashley Davis, UAMS School of Nursing


5. Lead

“Leaders understand the importance of bringing together people of various ages, experience and ethnic backgrounds to make a cohesive team. They are quick to appreciate what each group brings to the table. They understand the importance of educating and creating opportunities for the groups to interact in meaningful ways. They craft goals and activities to capitalize on the various strengths of the team members and encourage ‘one team’ with regard to reaching organizational goals.” 

Brinda McKinney, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro


Nursing Notes

“For advanced degree levels, I see three areas of major opportunity: Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Education and Nursing Informatics. We need practitioners to help cover the gap in the lack of physician coverage, we will need even more educators to continue educating young nurses and we are moving at light speed in many ways making our health care delivery system more electronic.”  


Neal Reeves, MSN, System Analyst Manager, doctoral nursing student UAMS College of Nursing
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